In the oleochemical industry, fats have been used as a raw material for chemicals, materials and products for a long time. Similar developments for proteins are still in their infancy. The benefits of bio-based substances are that the raw materials are renewable, the products are not or less toxic and they are often biodegradable. Such products are less detrimental to the environment, human health in general, and employees required to work with these substances in particular. Examples of applications include polymers, detergents, cosmetics, shampoos, lubricants, form removal oils, plasticisers in plastics, plastics and coatings, paints, resins and glues. Furthermore, they constitute a renewable alternative to fossil and mineral-based products.
The Dutch government has set out its policy in the 'Bio-based Economy Government Vision' document. On 14 September 2016, the nationwide Circular Economy Programme, entitled 'The Netherlands Circular by 2050' was presented to the Dutch House of Representatives. The programme provides direction to what we need to do to deal more efficiently and smarter with our raw materials, products and services as a means of achieving The Netherlands Circular by 2050 ambition.
The Raw Materials Agreement marks the starting point for working together on this. In September 2016, government and the business community formulated agreements concerning the circular economy. MVO is a participant in the Raw Materials Agreement. For MVO, the elimination of barriers concerning the interpretation of the (waste materials) legislation is a primary concern.
New applications for substances from oilseeds, tropical oils and animal by-products are in the offing. To be able to realise new opportunities in actual reality requires cooperation between the oils and fats sector, the chemical sector and the research sector. Over the coming years, government will be supporting joint ventures on the path towards a bio-based economy.
The (Dutch) brochure 'The Value of Vegetable and Animal Oils and Fats for the Bio-based Economy' provides a brief overview of existing and new opportunities for oils and fats for technical applications.
In the coming years, MVO will closely monitor developments relating to research, the market and government policy pertaining to the bio-based economy and report relevant developments for the oils and fats industry in the MVO Magazine and on the MVO website.